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ebikes on the Shore

May 20, 2019, 8:52 a.m.
Posts: 170
Joined: Feb. 24, 2017

Posted by: PaulB

Posted by: trumpstinyhands

Can we all agree to stop using the term acoustic/analog bikes. There are bikes, and e-bikes.

Hear hear. I despise that “acoustic” nick name. It’s infantile.

May 20, 2019, 10:59 a.m.
Posts: 977
Joined: Nov. 23, 2002

Posted by: RAHrider

these differences are incorrect:

-don't have throttle control - your gears allow the motor to drive the emoped faster
-are speed limited - so are motorcycles
-have limited range - so are motorcycles
-have far less power a motorcycle - true
-need to be pedaled in order to operate - true, but what does it matter how you throttle the motor? If you tapped your head and rubbed your tummy to make the motor go, I couldn't care less. The pedal actuation is there to "simulate" bicycling.

Not offended but come on that's really stretching. 

- a twist throttle control is not like an electronics algorithm that is torque sensitive
- a max speed of 32km/hr can't compare with 100km/hr or even far more than that. besides, the speed on an ebike is governed by law - that's the limited part
- the range of a motorcyle or even a moped is far higher, like 100km more or higher than an ebike. and at least with an ebike you can still pedal after the battery has run out.

If you're going to get caught up in focusing on minor differences between ebikes and emopeds or whatever you want to call them the important parts of the conversation are going to pass you by. I have no problem calling them motorized, but calling them motorcycles or even emopeds is off base imo. The things are here and the top level of government has spoken and allowed them to be used and I don't see them going away anytime soon. What is needed though are rules around their use and the BC Govt has left the door open to local governments to decide how they should be classified and regulated.

I get it, you don't like them and don't want to see them on the trails you use, but that ship has sailed. Honestly, if you want to see these things banned altogether then your best strategy in the short term is probably to go get one yourself, chip it and throttle it and go ride like an asshole and encourage all your friends to do the same. If enough people do that then maybe, just maybe, they might get banned. I personally don't see that happening however because I don't think there are enough people who are willing to do that and too many people who won't put up with it and resort to some sort of trail side vigilantism to stop it. The "fight" over these things needs to happen on regulating how they can be used. I think it makes far more sense to call for rules around their use otherwise you end up with a free for all that has the potential to not be controlled.

May 20, 2019, 11:37 a.m.
Posts: 743
Joined: March 18, 2017

Doesn’t the Kranked Kit have a pedal-less mode? Pure battery driven motion. 

Norona was blasted on here years ago for riding some e-dirt bike from NZL clad with Mtn bike components. 

Where does an Alta MX bike fit in all of this? Or the new e-KTMs? 

I’ve read it’s pretty straight forward to bypass the speed limiter on ebikes. 

The uphill traffic on DH primary trails is a huge concern for myself.

May 20, 2019, 12:34 p.m.
Posts: 977
Joined: Nov. 23, 2002

Posted by: Endur-Bro

Doesn’t the Kranked Kit have a pedal-less mode? Pure battery driven motion. 

Norona was blasted on here years ago for riding some e-dirt bike from NZL clad with Mtn bike components. 

Where does an Alta MX bike fit in all of this? Or the new e-KTMs? 

I’ve read it’s pretty straight forward to bypass the speed limiter on ebikes. 

The uphill traffic on DH primary trails is a huge concern for myself.

I think that for all of this thread and would guess for the vast majority of people who are either on-board or okay with ebikes, that the pedal-less bikes that have throttle control are not part of the discussion. Those things are not ebikes, they are electric dirt bikes. That's why the new BC Govt clarification on class 1 emtbs are important as they state the bikes must be pedal assist and have motor power and top speed limits. That's what the discussion is about and the other vehicles don't belong - either in the discussion or on mtb trails.

I am also concerned about uphill traffic on DH primary trails, especially people going fast up them on ebikes.

May 20, 2019, 7:05 p.m.
Posts: 2
Joined: May 20, 2019

I think this is the crux of the issue for most and it’s how do you stop non CAT 1 ebikes. If you say no motors that’s relatively easy to deal with but once there is a motor how is it dealt with. Or in a few years if industry creeps the speeds up a notch. 

They want to sell these and will be looking for an advantage over the competition be that in distance or speed or both.

May 21, 2019, 11:54 a.m.
Posts: 23
Joined: June 8, 2017

Posted by: syncro

Posted by: FLATCH

syncro, i always appreciate your level headed view points, but riding up an obvious downhill trail is just plain wrong for anybody. perhaps downhill trails could be better marked in heavily used regions.

Thanks FLATCH, but I disagree with you here as it's not a black and white issue. I agree with you that there are circumstances and trails where it shouldn't be done, but you can't make a blanket statement that any trail used for going downhill should never be ridden uphill. I appreciate you used a qualifier and said "obvious" downhill trail, but what that means to you and what it means to someone else may be two very different things. 

Where the convo gets really dicey is when ebikes are added to the mix. What was once unrideable in an uphill direction is now accessible with the addition of the juice. So yeah in that respect there are situations where it becomes downright dangerous to both riders for someone to ride up a primarily downhill trail. That's part of why we need a set of rules on riding etiquette for all trail users.

Well said, a few " Downhill only, riding uphill is prohibited" at the bottom or " This trail is used in both directions, downhill has right of way" at the top would work wonders, if enforced.

May 21, 2019, 2:50 p.m.
Posts: 74
Joined: Feb. 24, 2017

Posted by: cerealkilla_

Posted by: norona

Posted by: Ouch

I think it's critical that a decision be made either way, sooner than later. I don't think it's fair to everyone involved to let this linger on.

Already been made class 1 e-mtb are classified as mtb. 🤙

Not entirely correct. Class 1 e-mtb are classified as Class 1 e-mtb, and are thus prohibited from a limited set of riding areas such as Lord of the Squirrels, and certain private land trails managed by the Kootenay Columbia Trail Society/ KCTS (due to issues with insurance liabilities). There may be other areas added to this list as land-owners, insurance bodies, and wildlife managers take stock of emtbs and what they entail. Important to consider that it doesn't matter if these groups are correct in any assumptions they make regarding emtb, only that they have the power to influence restrictions. So I would think how you present yourself matters more than ever.

The recent decision on provincial recreation trails is a progression and really did help clarify some important issues, but there is still lots to figure out.....especially for clubs that have insurance and liability at stake. Of course, I would expect that people interested in promotion of emtbs would be very active in helping sort these things out.

As for riding UP tech trails, that sound great....assuming they are uphill tech trails. Of course, riding up downhill trails (designated as downhill primary on Section 56 permits) seems like a questionable idea, given the potential for conflict or collision with downhill riders. It is one thing for a downhill rider to see and avoid a hiker, but quite another to prepare for and avoid riders coming uphill toward them. Who gets the right of way?...the uphill emtb rider with his or her thumb on the boost button, or the downhill rider committed to their line? Surely ensuring safety and harmonious trail interactions takes precedence over espousing the virtues of a technology without consideration of the implications of its use. This (uphill downhill on the same trail) is an example. I have heard repeatedly that "emtbs are mtbs" yet at the same time they can be used in very different ways, have very different capabilities, and are assigned a distinct classification by the province that "acoustic" mtbs do not share. There is an established flow of traffic that has thus far served our trails and users well, and if that is to be upended by introduction of a new classification of vehicle, it should be discussed.

I will note that neither of the mentioned points aim to belittle emtbs or those that ride them, and are not calling for restrictions. Instead, they are simply what myself, and apparently some others see as legitimate concerns that should be addressed in order to maintain harmonious trails and access. I am really interested in hearing some good ideas and input on these, and less interested in more marketing of all that is great and rad.

I would think that the most vocal of the emtb promoters would have some thoughtful ideas for these matters, and would want to avoid stooping to engage others in name-calling. I mean, it is only going to be harder to win over either customers or allies by dismissing concerns as "the same fruit loops on here wasting time at work making up the dumbest shit imaginable" while not contributing to a thoughtful conversation about legitimate concerns. So I pose it to you Norona, three questions:

1) How do you think we should we manage the intersection of uphill emtb traffic and downhill (emtb and mtb) traffic on downhill primary trails. By this, I mean trails that ordinarily, the vast majority of people would not ride up, but which become suddenly climbable with the addition of a battery and motor?

2) Are you, or any sellers or makers of emtbs making progress with or contributing to the discussions with the insurance companies and private landowners who have concerns about emtbs? Clearly we don't want such liabilities hanging over the heads of our clubs or the security of our trail access, and clarification would likely lead to more successful integration and ensured access. For example, KCTS is in a real pickle with the recent provincial decision, and want to take steps to integrate ebikes for all their positives, but remain hamstrung by insurance and liability impasses. Do you have thoughts on this?

3) What is your analysis of the recent provincial decision on recreation trails? Specifically, do you have any thoughts on challenges associated with enforcement of appropriate types of equipment and trail access (pg 10 on the policy)... What do you think needs to happen (and what needs to be avoided) during the stated "test period" of 2018 to 2021 (pg 11) for this policy to roll into an enduring state of trail access that works for everyone?

Personally, I like the policy, but I note it remains wide open for significant policy adjustment depending on how things roll for the next few years. I also think it misses a few things (such as point #1).

Just going to quote this again so it isn't buried. Let's hear some response from those promoting emtb's.

May 21, 2019, 3:59 p.m.
Posts: 11
Joined: Oct. 25, 2009

Posted by: BigFoot

Posted by: syncro

Posted by: FLATCH

syncro, i always appreciate your level headed view points, but riding up an obvious downhill trail is just plain wrong for anybody. perhaps downhill trails could be better marked in heavily used regions.

Thanks FLATCH, but I disagree with you here as it's not a black and white issue. I agree with you that there are circumstances and trails where it shouldn't be done, but you can't make a blanket statement that any trail used for going downhill should never be ridden uphill. I appreciate you used a qualifier and said "obvious" downhill trail, but what that means to you and what it means to someone else may be two very different things. 

Where the convo gets really dicey is when ebikes are added to the mix. What was once unrideable in an uphill direction is now accessible with the addition of the juice. So yeah in that respect there are situations where it becomes downright dangerous to both riders for someone to ride up a primarily downhill trail. That's part of why we need a set of rules on riding etiquette for all trail users.

Well said, a few " Downhill only, riding uphill is prohibited" at the bottom or " This trail is used in both directions, downhill has right of way" at the top would work wonders, if enforced.

This creates an issue as standard trail etiquette is that uphill has right of way on multi direction trails. I'd hate to lose that privilege because someone else has a motor unless we start designating downhill primary multi direction trails. That might be too many words for a sign or us dim folk.

May 21, 2019, 6:24 p.m.
Posts: 930
Joined: Nov. 8, 2003

Posted by: BigFoot

Well said, a few " Downhill only, riding uphill is prohibited" at the bottom or " This trail is used in both directions, downhill has right of way" at the top would work wonders, if enforced.

Haha, funny enough I just put up signs like that only to have them beaten off the trees with a rock a few days later.

Small routered "Up⬆️"and "Down⬇️" signs. They were mostly to help lost hikers avoid downhill traffic and take the adjacent climbing trail instead, but yeah an e-biker had been running laps up that steep downhill trail too.


 Last edited by: Hepcat on May 21, 2019, 6:26 p.m., edited 1 time in total.
May 21, 2019, 6:37 p.m.
Posts: 48
Joined: April 26, 2004

the switchbacks on uphill trails are going to get blown out by short-cutting ebikes

May 22, 2019, 5:42 a.m.
Posts: 651
Joined: Nov. 18, 2015

No they won’t 

You’ll start seeing braids between the switchbacks straight up the slope so ebikers can get up there even faster.

May 22, 2019, 8:41 p.m.
Posts: 712
Joined: Aug. 14, 2003

I've been seeing this on certain climbing trails. I happily dismount, and drag all manners of debris, rocks, and logs to block the switchback cuts. From what I can tell, it's simply trail vandalism done by people without authorization to modify or reroute the trails. You encounter a certain amount of logs and debris, and people tend to give up with the stupid shortcuts.

May 22, 2019, 10:11 p.m.
Posts: 743
Joined: March 18, 2017

I was piling debris into an obvious braid (think 25’+ of grade reversal) 

Every time I went back up the trail the debris was removed. ¯\(ツ)

May 23, 2019, 1:28 p.m.
Posts: 5
Joined: Feb. 24, 2017

what about flat-ish multiuse. Does anyone want 500W of pedal assisted braaap coming at them out of a blind corner? When did biking become all about mass consumption of trails rather than just enjoying the time outside? Why can't people wait for their slower partners? What if we get 20km/hr speed limits on multi-use pathways because old people (who drove to the trails) panic when they get passed?

May 23, 2019, 6:06 p.m.
Posts: 404
Joined: Jan. 31, 2005

People feel entitled to go fast.

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